Overall: 3.5/5 Stars Characters: 3/5 Setting: 3.5/5 Writing: 3.5/5 Plot and Themes: 3/5 Awesomeness Factor: 3/5 Review in a Nutshell: When She Reigns delivers on its promises of dragons, but at the cost of some of its other aspects. That said, I still enjoyed it.
“Hate cannot abide where many stand in love.”
(This exact line is said a million times. I think I’ll be saying it in my sleep)
Release Date: 9/10/2019 Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books Page Count: 496 Premise: When She Reigns is the third and final book in the Fallen Isles trilogy. It takes place shortly after the devastating ending of As She Ascends, and follows Mira and her friends as she tries to find a way to save her people and her home.
The longer I’ve been writing book reviews, the more confused I get with my own rating system.
Rating are hard. I really struggle with them. Since I use Goodreads a lot (shameless plug- add me as a friend), I wanted to keep things consistent and rate every book out of 5 stars. However, with so many people rating books from 1-5 stars, everyone now has their own meaning behind what a 5 star/3 star/1 star book is. Even my own meaning has changed.
So, for the sake of clarification, I want to explain what my ratings mean, and give some examples for each!
Overall: 3.75/5 Stars Characters: 4/5 Setting: 3.5/5 Writing: 3.5/5 Plot and Themes: 4/5 Awesomeness Factor: 3.75/5 Review in a Nutshell: I went into this book with crazy high expectations, and while it didn’t quite meet all of them, it was still a great read.
“Mercy was more frightening than murder, because it was harder.”
Release Date: 10/01/2008 Publisher: Harcort Page Count: 471 Premise: Katsa is a Graceling. She was born with an innate gift. Except, while some people were Graced with fighting, telepathy, or music, Katsa was Graced with killing. Used as the king’s pawn, Katsa is sent across the kingdom threatening and torturing whoever the king tells her to, but what he doesn’t know is that she has her own missions, helping those who need it. On one of those missions, she meets Po, the youngest prince of a faraway kingdom. The two of them must work together to solve a mystery that threatens his family, but they didn’t expect to fall in love, or uncover a secret that threatens everything they know.
“When a monster stopped behaving like a monster, did it stop being a monster? Did it become something else?”
Overall: 5/5 Stars Characters: 5/5 Setting: 5/5 Writing: 5/5 Plot and Themes: 5/5 Awesomeness Factor: 5/5 Review in a Nutshell: Capturing The Devil is an amazing end to a series that has captured the hearts of so many fans. While I’m sad it’s over, I couldn’t imagine a better finale.
“I had been stalked and hunted and had escaped thus far. I’d now be the one setting a trap for this monster.”
Release Date: 9/10/2019 Publisher: Jimmy Patterson Page Count: 448 Premise: Capturing the Devil is the final book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. Audrey Rose and Thomas now found themselves in America, where a series of disappearances has them on the hunt for an elusive murderer. The two of them must try to catch the killer, while also trying to hold onto their future together.
“Love is immortal. Death can neither touch nor steal it. Especially when it’s true.”
Writing & Setting
If you’ve read the first three Stalking Jack the Ripper books (which I really hope you have because this isn’t a series you can just pick and choose which ones you want to read), then you already have an idea of how Kerri Maniscalco writes, and the atmospheric settings she depicts. Her writing has only gotten better in each book. There are so many powerful lines and impactful quotes from this book. The setting itself is also really well done. With each book, Kerri Maniscalco manages to create a completely new setting but still maintains that overall creepy and unsettling tone. Capturing the Devil may have one of the scariest places in this series, which is saying something.
“The devil was here. He’d finally stepped out from my nightmares and had come to claim me.”
This book has some twists. I know, you’re probably thinking: “Of course it does! Every book in this series has some sort of twist at the end!” You’re right, but usually, I can predict where the book is going. Even if I can’t guess the twist exactly, I have an idea of what’s coming. Yeah, that didn’t happen in this one. I knew what to expect with some things (I was already familiar with the case this book is about before going into it– speaking of which, don’t expect completely historical accuracy here), but there were a couple of other things that surprised me. Because this book actually managed to blindside me with some of it’s twists, it was completely impossible to put down. I had some trouble with other books in the series being a little slow, but this one did not have that problem AT ALL. I was addicted from the start, and until the very last page.
“I was the queen of death. A princess of corpses. Everything I touch decayed” and she calls Thomas dramatic
Listen, Escaping From Houdini definitely hurt Audrey Rose’s standing in my ever-growing list of great protagonists. The decisions she made in that book weren’t great. However, Capturing the Devil seems to recognize that and was able to fix some of that damage. This book showcases all of the amazing character development she went through in this series, and by the end, I forgave her for how much she hurt Thomas in the previous book. Speaking of Thomas– he is just so perfect. He really is the perfect feminist love interest, even his flaws are compelling. I feel like in each book, we slowly see more and more of him, and every new thing makes me love him even more.
“Beyond life, beyond death. My love for thee is eternal.”
Pros- The twists really got me, the setting is amazing, and oh my god I would die for Thomas Cresswell Cons- Why does this series have to end? I’m not ready Overall- 5/5 stars. Capturing The Devil was a roller coaster. Full of twists and turns, this book is an epic conclusion to a series that has fully encased itself in my heart.
“If there’s one thing man cherishes above greed, it’s hope. Without it, people would cease to dream. Without dreamers, civilizations crash.”
In the city of Edriast, there is no deadlier duty than to serve as the Shadow.
As the personal servant of the powerful Lord Rennard, the Shadow’s life is all but forfeit. Rennard possesses one of five rare and dangerous Relics – a jewel that protects his bloodline, but slowly poisons everyone else in its proximity. When the current Shadow succumbs to its magic, nineteen-year-old blacksmith Kaylan is summoned to take his place.
It’s an appointment that will kill her.
As the time Kaylan has left ebbs away, hope begins to fade… That is, until she discovers a plot to destroy all five bloodlines in possession of the Relics. A rebel force plans to put an end to Rennard’s rule and Kaylan suddenly finds herself embroiled in a cause that might just be worth fighting for. But no cause is without its costs…
As her life hangs in the balance and rebellion bears down on Edriast, Kaylan must decide where her loyalties lie – and how she’ll leave her mark on the world.
Relic is the absorbing first novel in The Relic Trilogy, a thrillingly dark YA fantasy series.
Overall: 2.5/5 Stars Characters: 2.5/5 Setting: 3/5 Writing: 3/5 Plot and Themes: 2/5 Awesomeness Factor: 2/5 Review in a Nutshell: Bloodleaf is an okay read, but overwhelmingly so. Nothing about it is unique or amazing enough to make it stand out from the YA fantasies it finds itself similar to.
“The wolves howl, Aurelia, and there may come a time when I will no longer be able to hold them back.”
“I’m just as lost and confused and lonely as anyone else.”
Release Date: 3/12/2019 Publisher: HMH Books For Young Readers Page Count: 384 Premise: Bloodleaf is a loose retelling of The Goose Girl. It follows Princess Aurelia, a blood-magic wielder in a kingdom where witches are the enemy. With her people eager to see her burn, Aurelia is sent to the neighboring kingdom for her safety, and to meet the prince she has been betrothed to since childhood. But when she is betrayed, Aurelia is forced to disguise herself as a commoner as she uncovers a plot that could destroy everything.
“I’ve yet to hold the devil’s handiwork. Everything evil I’ve found was made by human hands.”
Release Date: 9/3/2019 Publisher: Simon Pulse Page Count: 384 Premise: Theodora has always dreamed of traveling with her father on his treasure hunts, but despite her knowledge of ancient relics, he refuses to let her go. Instead, he takes Huck Gallagher, the boy Theo used to think was the love of her life. But when Huck returns from an expedition for the cursed ring of Vlad the Impaler without her father, they must team up to rescue him. With only her father’s journal for clues, the two end up on a dangerous journey into Romania, where a dangerous society is also searching for the ring. And they’ll do anything to get it.
Read more for all of my thoughts on The Lady Rogue!
Disney is kinda my brand (outside of books, that is). I’m known at work as the girl who always wears Disney dresses, I cosplay as Disney Princesses, I’m a Disney Vacation Club Member and I visit Disney World almost every year, and my house was literally designed after Disney.
Needless to say, I was excited to do this Disney-A-Thon.
Especially because I was going to Disney this month.
However, I’m awful at sticking to TBRs, and readathons scare me, so I knew this would definitely be a challenge. Not to mention, I set up pretty high goals for myself for the month.
Overall: 5/5 Stars Characters: 5/5 Setting: 5/5 Writing: 5/5 Plot and Themes: 5/5 Awesomeness Factor: 5/5 Review in a Nutshell: Serpent and Dove felt like it was made for me. From the characters to the setting, everything was well crafted and absolutely addictive.
“A witch and a witch hunter bound in holy matrimony. There was only one way such a story could end–a stake and a match.”
Serpent and Dove follows Louise la Blanc, a witch who fled her coven, and Reid Diggory, a witch hunter. After a chaotic second meeting, Lou and Reid must marry to save his reputation, and Lou would rather face the pyre than the enemies chasing her. However, when feelings grow, what was first a simple arrangement becomes infinitely more complicated.
I had a busy month is August, but despite that, I managed to read 10 books! I focused a lot on the Disney-A-Thon in August, (I even did some of my reading is Disney World!), so while I’ll talk about some of my favorites now, I’ll be posting a full Disney-A-Thon wrap up soon!
I started August off strong, but I definitely fell behind on my goals. That said, I’m still happy to have read 10 books. Hopefully I’ll keep the momentum going in September!